Cincinnati lawmakers are expected to pass legislation next month that would create a community defense project similar to other cities to assist and protect immigrant families and refugees.

Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld filed a motion last week to form the Rapid Response Network, which was endorsed by five other council members. He said he expects the nine-member council to unanimously pass the measure in the first week of August, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

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"Because of the current occupant of the White House … we the city of Cincinnati need to be proactive when it comes to protecting members of our community,” Sittenfeld said at a Thursday news conference to announce the measure. "If you pay our taxes, if you are raising your family here, if you are adding to the diversity of our neighborhoods – and all of our immigrant and refugee families are doing this – you’re absolutely a member of our community."

Sittenfeld did not immediately respond to Fox News for comment on Thursday.

The network will provide legal responses and representation in immigration cases and assist families affected by detentions. The Immigrant and Refugee Law Center, a local nonprofit, will lead the network.

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Julie LeMaster, the group's executive director, said detentions in the Cincinnati area have increased in recent years. The city hasn't been targeted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, but it's very likely that more detentions will come, she told the paper.

"The city is looking for ways to help the (immigrant and refugee) community in the light of the current situation in the country," LeMaster said. "There are groups in the Cincinnati area that have been doing great work in various aspects of it but there really hasn’t been a coordinated community-wide response network until now."

The network will be a collaboration among community members, city officials and local groups.

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The announcement comes days after the Trump administration said it would aim to fast-track deportations by extending the authority of immigration officers to deport undocumented immigrants without allowing them to appear before judges.

“If and when this current federal administration executes these raids in Cincinnati, we want to be ready. We want to be prepared, have a plan and have a rapid-response network,” Sittenfeld said.

Source Link:
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/cincinnati-councilman-announces-proposed-network-to-combat-deportations

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